Somalia Prime Minister to visit Kenya on official visit after striking election deal

Somalia PM Mohamed Roble and President Uhuru Kenyatta during the inauguration of President Ismail Guelleh of Djibouti on May 15, 2021/ TWITTER

Somalia Prime Minister Mohamed Roble is expected in Kenya for an official visit “soon”, Somali media report.

PM Hoble, who on Thursday succeeded in putting Somalia back to elections track through the agreement at the National Electoral Consultative Summit, was reportedly invited by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

They met in Djibouti during the inauguration of President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

“PM Roble will be seeking to restart bilateral relations between the two neighbourly countries that have been at odds since the outgoing President [Mohamed] Farmajo took power in 2017. Kenya is part of the troop-contributing nations of Amisom an ally in the fight against Al Shabaab,” Garowe Online reported on Friday.

Somalia early this month restored diplomatic relations with Kenya after mediation by the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani.

In a statement by the Ministry of Information, on May 6, Somalia said it was resuming the relations “in keeping with the interests of good neighbourliness”.

Mogadishu severed ties with Nairobi on December 15, 2020, over claims of interference with its domestic politics, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed as unfounded.

However, ties were strained a few days later after Kenya suspended flights to and from Somalia after Mogadishu banned two airlines for transporting miraa to the country despite existed of an embargo.

On May 16, Somalia banned a Kenyan registered airline from future operations in the country following its deployment by Somaliland to transport election materials from Nairobi, Somali media report.

According to sources at Somali Civil Aviation Authority, HOL Astral Aviation was banned for operating despite suspension of flights to and from Somalia.

This was despite Astral Aviation being on a chartered flight.

IGAD welcomes Somalia’s election agreement

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